While reading today’s devotion, I came across a passage that caused me to pause and think:
19-21 So Manoah took the kid and the Grain-Offering and sacrificed them on a rock altar to God who works wonders. As the flames leapt up from the altar to heaven, God‘s angel also ascended in the altar flames. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown to the ground. Manoah and his wife never saw the angel of Godagain.
21-22 Only then did Manoah realize that this was God‘s angel. He said to his wife, "We’re as good as dead! We’ve looked on God!"
23 But his wife said, "If God were planning to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted our Whole-Burnt-Offering and Grain-Offering, or revealed all these things to us—given us this birth announcement." Judges 13;19-21 (MSG)
Judges 13 introduces us to one of the judges of Israel, Samson. In the above passage Samson’s parents are discussing a meeting they had with an angel of the Lord who had confirmed the the once barren wife would bear a son. The messenger angel had already appeared to the wife once, but she asked in prayer that the messenger return so her husband Manoah could hear the message. The messenger appeared and in the above verses Manoah realized that it was as angel of the Lord. He felt having looked upon this heavenly being that they would die.
Manoah’s wife came up with a good answer however. She asked why would God give them a message of the birth of a son and even accept their thanksgiving offering and then kill them? Why would He send them an announcement of a long awaited desire and not bring it to pass? This reminded me of another passage that is so good to stand on in the waiting room of prayer:
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: Isaiah 66:8-10 (KJV)
Here we find another question concerning Israel, "can a nation be born at once"? ‘The answer resounds in verse 9 that God will not cause to bring to birth and not bring forth. We know that in fact Israel became a nation in 1948 in one day and in spite of constant attacks Is still remaining until this day.
Samson indeed was born, and in spite of constant attacks brought about mostly because of his taste in women, Samson destroyed many Philistines that had their foot on Israel’s neck. And in spite of all that has come across Israel since 1948 this tiny country remains a proud and productive nation. It seems reasonable that what God begins, He sees it through. Not without attacks, and not without some personal surrender that we have to make along the way. I challenge you to look at the list of promises that you may still be pregnant with – is it time for the baby to be born?